Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Slow Cooking on the run ...

The slow cooker is always dragged out on days when I am on the run .. So what did I cook today? My version of a Beef and Guinness stew ...

  1. Put slowcooker on high, I like to put a cup of boiling water into the bottom to help it along.
  2. Pour glass of Guinness, take a mouthful
  3. Take beef and roughly chopped onion and seal in pan.
  4. Take another mouthful of Guinness
  5. Once sealed either add some beef stock or a stock cube just to give it more of a rich flavour, today I used an OXO cube. Crumble over cooked beef and deglaze with boiling water to create a rich sauce. If you use beef stock you don't need the boiling water.
  6. Check Guiness again to make sure it is ok ... another mouthful ...
  7. Once the meat is cooked off again, deglaze the pan with your chosen alcohol (ie, put a little bit in and use it to get all the nice burnt flavoursome bits off the bottom of the pan). Wine, Guinness, Brandy (nice with chicken), let the alcohol boil off. Generally a cup worth, the more alcohol the more it will taste a slight bit bitter once cooked.
  8. Drink left over Guinness
  9. Put meat into the slow cooker, put the beef on the bottom followed by carrots (roughly chopped) and then mushrooms and then if you want waxy potato's on the top. Floury potatoes explode if in the pot for this long. Tiny Tatters work well. Tonight we had the potatoes separately mashed with Dijon mustard.
  10. Serve with a glass of Guinness ;)
Tips and Hints
  • Kilkenny works equally well, less stouty
  • I personally like to seal my meat in a pan before adding to the slow cooker. Coating chicken in seasoned flour keeps it together when stiring at the end. Unsealed meat can taste a bit bland if not marinated.
  • I like to drown the ingredients in liquid and then boil it off at the end in a small saucepan. This prevents meat on the top of the cooker going a bit dry.
  • I generally set up the slow cooker in the morning after breakfast and then forget about it for 9 hours.
  • If you do bolognase sauce or chicken and mushroom it freezes really well. Re-heat and serve with pasta! From a large pack of chicken breasts from Aldi, we get 4 meals frozen in the little re-sealed bags.
Some good combinations:
  • Seasoned Chicken legs or cubes, a can or two of crushed tomatoes and a packed of Aldi sliced mushrooms.
  • Chicken Legs deglased in brandy, then red wine. Red onion and shallots for sweetness and carrots.

No comments: